INDIANAPOLIS — The Big Ten Men’s Basketball tournament has officially arrived in Indianapolis.
After just hosting the Big Ten Women’s Tournament and the NFL Scouting Combine, downtown Indianapolis will once again play host to even more fans come Wednesday, March 10.
“We had a great week. No complaints at all. We expect to do better this week,” said Arshad Zafar, general manager of Goodwood Indy. “Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be great for us here from open to close.”
Zafar said, despite his restaurant only being 60% staffed, his employees have agreed to work overtime to serve the incoming crowds.
“We’re struggling just like everybody else trying to find people,” said Zafar. “We’ll see it progressively getting busier from last week into this week and going into the weekend.”
Zafar said, thankfully, he has a number of employees on standby for big events.
“They’ll just come in when I really need them like a – like a hired gun,” said Zafar. “They’re like, ‘Hey, I need you three days this month. OK, great. I’ll be there.'”
Meanwhile, at The District Tap, staffing levels have reached nearly pre-pandemic levels at over 90% fully staffed.
“I’m pretty fortunate, you know, I kept the core of my staff through the pandemic,” said Jeff Huron, general manager of The District Tap. “So staffing-wise I’m in some of the best shape I’ve been in in the last two years, so we’re ready to roll with whatever comes our way.”
Huron said The District Tap hopes to stay busy Thursday through Sunday, and to help maximize on the crowds they plan to adjust their hours.
“We’re going to open up an hour early at 10 a.m. [Thursday] and Friday,” said Huron. “Then we’re open until 1 a.m. through the weekend. Obviously if we’re a packed house and we’re rocking and rolling we’ll push those [closing] hours to accommodate our guests.”
As for the college basketball fans, those we spoke to said they are excited to get back to an energetic downtown atmosphere.
“Love to see Indy alive again,” said Andre Cooley, a college basketball fan living in Indy. “Definitely glad to see people, you know, kind of being back to normal as much as possible and walking around.”
“I’m excited about the energy downtown,” said Zafar. “It keeps building. It’s phenomenal, and it’s awesome.”